Explore Hardwood Options

24 Oct Explore Hardwood Options

Hardwood Flooring

When choosing your next hardwood floor, you have a lot to consider. From construction type to installation type and all the materials used, there are many factors that’ll impact your decision.

Here are some of the most common type of hardwood floors used in United States:

Types of Hardwood Construction

Will you put your flooring in a high traffic area? Narrow your search by choosing the right type of construction based on your durability needs.


Solid hardwood floors are the most durable. They’re typically ¾” thick, which means they can be sanded and refinished multiple times to maintain their attractive look.

Although durable, it’s not recommended for installation over concrete or radiant heat. It’s also more expensive than engineered hardwood floors. Depending on the hardwood species, the hardness of the floor will vary. Look for the Janka rating to determine the hardness level.


Engineered is similar to laminate flooring in that a hardwood veneer (the attractive part) is glued on top of a core board. This makes the flooring more stable, without losing its real wood surface look.

The durability of engineered flooring is dependent on how many plies are used to create the plywood core board. However, the number of plies also impacts how expensive the flooring is.

The price is dependent on the veneer’s thickness. It ranges from 0.6 mm to 6 mm. The thicker, the more expensive. If you do not plan to refinish the flooring at any point, you don’t have to worry about the thickness of the veneer as much. However, if you do plan to refinish it, you must purchase an engineered flooring with at least 2 mm thickness.

One big perk of this type of hardwood is where it can be installed. Because of the materials used, engineered hardwood can be installed over concrete or radiant heat.

Acrylic Impregnated

This type of hardwood flooring is usually used in commercial settings. It can handle moisture well and it is more durable to heavy foot traffic.

Reclaimed and Recycled

Sometimes, hardwood flooring is made out of recycled materials. The process remains the same, but the materials differ.

Hardwood Floor Grades

Another factor to consider is the grade of your hardwood floors. The grade of your hardwood floor refers to the look, not the quality.

Believe it or not, there is no universal grading system. Still, there are common grading terms that will shed some light onto the type of floor you’re considering. For pre-finished hardwood, these grades include:

  • Clear Grade: Few variations in color, length, or pattern. It’s considered the best grade for hardwood floors.
  • Select and Better: Slightly more knots and patterns exposed, but still very uniform in color and length.
  • #1 Common: Slightly more color variation, shorter length, and more patterns.
  • #2 Common: Even more color variation, with visible knots and pinholes.
  • Cabin Grade:More rustic appeal with unfilled knots and pinholes.
  • Shorts:The most unique grade with no two planks looking the same.

If you’re purchasing an unfinished hardwood product, you’ll have to select from the following grades:

  • Clear Grade: Few variations in color or pattern.
  • Select and Better:Slightly more variation, but still quite uniform.
  • Country or Exclusive Grades:More variation in color and plank length. Also, an increase in pinholes and knots.
  • Traditional, Antique, or Character Grades:Natural coloring and patterns visible.
  • Tavern or Cabin Grade:Visible character and higher color variation.
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